RANSOMVILLE, NY – Ransomville Speedway hosted their annual Awards Banquet on Saturday night at the Lewiston #2 Fire Hall. The 2018 season saw its last checkered flag in September, and plans are already starting to take shape for the 2019 season at the Big R. Over 200 people were in attendance as track announcer Rick Mooney mc’ed the festivities.
Third generation driver Erick Rudolph joined his grandfather Jim and father Charlie by being crowned the Krown Undercoating Modified track champion. Rudolph scored two wins during the season in route to his championship. 13-time champion Pete Bicknell won five times, while three-time champion Ryan Susice won twice, including the Sid Jeffery Memorial. Matt Farnham also scored two wins in his rookie season. Other divisional wins included Tommy Flannigan, Alan Wills, and Jesse Cotriss. Scott Kerwin’s car was the Best Appearing Mike Williams was the recipient of the Hard Luck Award. Matt Farnham was named divisional Rookie of the Year.
Ransomville, NY’s Brett Senek had consistent finishes in route to his first Investors Service Sportsman track title. Kevin Wills led the division with three feature wins. Chris Burek, Garrison Krentz, Derek Wagner, James Henry, and Dave DiPietro all won twice during the season. DiPietro scored the win in the BEI Lightning Series Sean Letts Memorial King of the Hill event. Other winners included Austin Susice, Darrell Borkenhagen, Adam Leslie, Cody McPherson, and Brad Rouse. Rouse won the Sportsman Super DIRTcar Series event. Robbie Johnston was named Rookie of the Year, while Garrison Krentz was the most improved driver. Derrick Borkenhagen was the hard-luck recipient. Derek Wagner had the Best Appearing car.
Wheatfield, NY pilot Pete Stefanski used seven wins, including five in the last seven weeks of the season to win his first KiPo Chevrolet Street Stock championship, and fifth overall track title. Stefanski also won the Sean Letts Memorial King of the Hill 100. Cory Sawyer won four times in 2018, including scoring the win in the John Susice Memorial. Chris Dziomba won twice, while Ken Camidge, “Showtime” Jaren Israel, and Jordan Moden also visiting victory lane. The Hard Luck Award went to Joey Zimmerman, while Jordan Moden was named most improved. Bryce Richardson had the best appearing car and Jim Coble was named Rookie of the Year.
Chad Desso from Wilson, NY won the track title for the Gippsters Collison 4 Bangers. Desso won six times to secure the track title. “Mr. Peanut” Ryan Plante scored three wins in 2018, as “That Kid” Cole Susice won twice, as did Matt Hornquist. Ashley Blech and Anthony Hermanson also picked up victories in 2018. Steve Matson was the Hard Luck recipient, while Nick Tarnowski was named Most Improved. Matt Hornquist had the best appearing car.
“The Wolfe Pack” was howling when Appleton, NY’s Cody Wolfe picked up his championship trophy as he earned the Stevenson’s Hardware Novice Sportsman track title. Wolfe won four feature events in 2018 to earn the title. David Fingerlow also won four events. Bubby Pawlak won twice, as did Kenny Washburn. Orval Harris and Brian Monahan Jr also visited victory lane. Bubby Pawlak had the Best Appearing Novice Sportsman.
With five wins and coming close to winning a 14th track championship, “Mr. Small Block” Pete Bicknell was named Driver of the Year. The Owner of the Year went to Scott Wolfe. When needing a car to take the green flag to win the modified title, Scott Wolfe offered Cody’s Novice Sportsman to Erick Rudolph. The Performance of the Year award went to Pete Stefanski. Seven wins powered Pete to the Street Stock track championship. The Ray MacIver Sportsmanship Award went to Dave DiPietro. DiPietro would help anyone in need to get back on the track. Tim “Poncho” Senek received the Pat Spina Memorial Mechanic of the Year as Tim helped Brett win his first Sportsman track championship. The Trevor Wilkens Hard Charger Award went to Kevin Wills.
The Key Player Award recipient was Ron Martin. Ron was the go-to guy for anything needed for the speedway. From mowing the grass to working on the track prep crew, to taking motors on behalf of the speedway to the dyno in Fulton, to ordering and getting parts, and more. “Ron is the kind of the person that will do whatever you ask him to do”, commented General Manager Jenn Martin.
For the first time in speedway history, all three major dirt racing touring series made stops at Ransomville in the same season. Mike Marlar won the anticipated return of the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model event. David Gravel won the Big R Outlaw Shootout when the “Greatest Show on Dirt”, the World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Cars came to town. Stewart Friesen became a six-time winner of the Summer Nationals when the Super DIRTcar Series made their annual trip in August. “The Cobra” Chuck Hebing continued his dominance at Ransomville, earning the victory in the annual visit by the Patriot Sprint Tour.
The point fund money raised from the weekly 50/50 draw was $24,883. Huge thanks to Ashley Sharp, Shay Moeller, and Tylor Heckman who were the main sellers this season. Point fund money was paid out to the top 15 in Modifieds, top 15 in Sportsman, top 10 for Street Stocks, top 10 for Mini Stocks (4 Bangers), and top 5 in Novice Sportsman. Significant others of the 2018 track champions all received jewelry from Firth’s Jewelers.
The crowd in attendance enjoyed a catered dinner by Donna Eick and enjoyed the musical stylings of Jonesie and the Cruisers well into the evening.
Plans are starting to take place for the 2019 season, including the change of names from the 4 Bangers to the Gippster’s Collision Mini Stocks. Ransomville Speedway will be represented at the Northeast Racing Products Auction and Trade Show November 16-17 in Syracuse, NY. Season tickets are now on sale for 2019. Call (716) 791-3602 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
About Ransomville Speedway: Ransomville Speedway is located on Braley Road in the hamlet of Ransomville, just 20 minutes from Niagara Falls and Lockport. “The Big R” is a 3/8th-mile DIRTcar sanctioned facility that is the Home of the Summer Nationals. Ransomville also features a 1/16th -mile Go-Kart track for action on the “Little R” on Thursday nights! For more information, please visit us on the World Wide Web at www.ransomvillespeedway.com as well as follow us on Twitter @Ransomville and like us on Facebook. You can also contact the speedway by phone by calling (716) 791-3602 or (716) 791-3611.